‘World’ of hurt

Babe Ruth World Series Preview - LogoOCALA, FLA. – The Westfield Babe Ruth 14-Year-Olds battled long and hard and went the extra mile, but came up just short in Game 2 of their World Series.
Oahu, Hawaii rallied from a 4-2 deficit to defeat Westfield 5-4 in eight innings Saturday night.
Westfield fell to 0-2.
Oahu came out of the gate with consecutive singles from Kaz Tachino and Cody Isa. After a sacrifice, and run-scoring plays on a fielder’s choice and an infield error, Westfield trailed 2-0.
In Westfield’s opener, Lawrenceburg shot out to a gargantuan lead. The Southeast champ (and 2013 runner-up as 13s a season ago) overwhelmed the Whip City All-Stars 13-1.
The Northeast champ, while thoughts of déjà vu most certainly crept into their minds, would not let history repeat itself.
Westfield managed base hits from Jack Yvon and Nate Boucher in the bottom of the second inning. In the third inning, their determination paid off. Nate Bonini led off the third with a single. Kyle Roberts reached on an infield error. Aidan Dunn put the ball in play, allowing a run to score on a fielder’s choice. Another fielding error on Mitchell Longley’s hit to the left side of the infield resulted in the tying run.
Then, in the fourth, Westfield surged ahead.
Tyler Delgado led off the middle frame with a single to right field. Delgado advanced to second base on a fielder’s choice, moved to third on a wild pitch, and swiped home plate, following a fly-ball out from Adam Kearing.
Just before Kearing’s fly ball, Nate Boucher walked. Boucher moved to second on defensive indifference, and came around to score after Bonini belted a single to left field. Westfield led 4-2.
The opposition would not be denied.
Oahu staged a late comeback, rallying for two runs in the sixth – Justin Fernandez and Andrew Oasay collected consecutive one-out base knocks and Ryne Oshiro smacked a two-run double to tie the game – and another, the game-winner, in extra innings.
Francis Gora led off the Hawaii half of the eighth inning with a single and stole second base. He advanced to third on a Tachino bunt. Tachino stole second. With one out, Justin Fernandez notched the game-winning hit, an RBI single to left field.
Oahu’s bullpen played a key role in determining the outcome of Saturday’s game.
Oshiro retired Westfield’s Nos. 1-3 batters in order to end the game. He did not allow a hit in two innings of relief.
Tachino struck out three batters over the final two innings. Westfield mustered just one hit against him, an Aidan Dunn single.
Westfield starting pitcher Mitchell Longley was effective in 5 1-3 innings of work. Longley scattered five hits, struck out two batters, walked one, and allowed two earned runs (three total).
“Mitchell was absolutely outstanding,” Westfield manager John Bonini said. “He was everything we could ask for. He battled for 5 ½ innings. He was tremendous.”
Bonini was named the team’s Most Valuable Player. Yvon earned those honors Friday night.
Westfield returns to action Monday night against Sarasota, Florida at 7:30, before finishing up pool play against Lexington, Kentucky Tuesday at 5.
“We’re not done,” Bonini said. “We will battle all the way to the end.”
Westfield has shown resilience all season, rallying several times, including a stirring comeback against Pittsfield in the state championship, a game in which they trailed 5-0.
Westfield failed to pack it in when it got down early, but that came as no shock to its manager.
“It’s not at all surprising,” Bonini said. “This team has battled like this the last two years. That’s what they do.”

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